Originally invented as an alternative to lead piping, galvanized steel piping became famous for home plumbing in the 60’s. After decades this once effective piping solution has been found faulty, steel pipes will corrode and rust on the inside causing issues with water quality and flow. Replacing these old pipes is essential for the health of the home’s inhabitants, as well as for your home itself, the rust pipes are prone to leaking and can cause substantial water damage if not addressed.
How To Tell If Your Pipes Are Galvanized
If you are not sure if your pipes are galvanized you will need two simple tools; a flat head screwdriver and a strong magnet. Once you’ve found your water line you can begin testing, note that because previous owners may have replaced a few segments as needed, you will want to check in several places. For copper pipes, the scratched area will have a signature copper hue, and your magnet will not stick. Plastic pipes are often easy to spot, they’ll appear white or ivory in color, and your magnet will not stick. Lead pipes will have a dull silver-gray color when scratched, the magnet will not stick, and they might be bent or misshapen. If you do find lead pipes, it is highly recommended that you replace them as soon as possible. Galvanized steel pipes will be a silver-gray hue at the scratch sight, and most telling, you magnet will stick.
While galvanized pipes were initially developed as an alternative to lead, they still contain small amounts. Pipes were dipped in natural zinc to coat, but the naturally occurring form of zinc is impure and will hold the lead. Even the tiny amounts of lead in the zinc is enough to cause harm. Additionally, if the galvanized pipes were attached to lead pipes the corrosion within the galvanized ones often traps small pieces of lead causing it to release into the water periodically.
Along with the threat of lead, galvanized pipes might be the source of any other plumbing issues you might have. This can include low water pressure, due to corrosion and restrictions within the pipeline. Uneven distribution of water, which is caused by the uneven buildup of corrosion. Galvanized pipes also tend to cause brown water discoloration and leaks due to rust.
A RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL PLUMBING COMPANY YOU CAN TRUST
Alpha Plumbing is a full-service plumbing and contracting company serving the Baltimore and Annapolis metro area with expertise in all aspects of plumbing. We’re family-owned and operated since 1991 from our office in Pasadena. We offer quality plumbing services at reasonable rates in a timely fashion. Our trucks are equipped with GPS systems to ensure we’re prompt and on time. No job is too large or too small! We maintain a fleet of well-stocked trucks and also own and operate our own backhoes for jobs requiring excavation.
For more information and to get a free no-obligation estimate, you can contact us on our website, send us an e-mail, or give us a call at (410) 255-5998.